Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples with Caramelized Onions and Pistachios

Roasted Brussels sprouts & applesI’ve always had a real soft spot for things in miniature.  As a child I spent hours decorating and redecorating my dollhouse with tiny little beds covered in itsy-bitsy blankets and even tinier pillows.  I opened and closed the door on the thumb-sized cast iron stove and set the table with pinky-sized plates.  I loved the details of things that we usually take in at a much larger size now in the palm of my hand.

As an adult, I could buy teeny spoons, forks, and knives all day long for serving with sauces, chutneys, and spreads or miniature sauce dishes for holding tamari and hot Chinese mustard…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & ApplesSo I remember as a child of 7 or 8 taking great interest in Brussels sprouts.  Their adorable little form was like one of my favorite vegetables – cabbage – but in miniature.  One little sprout would have been just the right size for my dollhouse family to have a feast of cabbage & potatoes.

Brussels sprouts

However, the taste was not quite so delicate.  To my young palate, the bold flavor left something to be desired.  The boiled Brussels sprouts were much more bitter than their cabbage-y brethren.  Some bites were okay, but for the most part the sprouts had a pungent aftertaste that lingered on the back of the tongue like horseradish.  I was not a fan.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & ApplesSo whenever people tell me that they don’t like Brussels sprouts, I get it.  And then I wonder how they’ve had them prepared.  Because boiling Brussels sprouts is doing them no great service.  Like so many vegetables, to really bring their inherent sweetness to life, roasting is the best course of action.

Asparagus is lovely steamed, but roasted?  I could finish off a platter myself.  Steamed broccoli or cauliflower are totally legitimate as sides, but roast them instead and people who tend to not care about eating their vegetables start asking questions about how they can make them at home.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & ApplesOne night several years ago I was making a roasted Brussels sprouts dish from The Vegan Table on the same evening that I was having a dish with roasted apples.  Then in a vegetable-version of “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter,” a new favorite dish was formed – Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Apples with Caramelized Onions & Pistachios.

Not only does the roasting cut any bitterness from the Brussels sprouts, the sweetness of apple and caramelized onions evens the playing field, balancing the sprouts’ more pungent flavor with an edge of lightness.  If I could only have Brussels sprouts one way for the rest of my life, this is how I would have them.

Roasted Brussels sprouts & applesI have been tweaking the dish ever since and serving it at holiday gatherings or during the summer when Brussels sprouts are in season.  It also pairs really nicely with creamy polenta (minus the sun-dried tomatoes) and Field Roast breakfast sausages or apple sage sausages, browned in a skillet.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Field Roast breakfast sausages

So whether you are a long-time Brussels sprout aficionado or confirmed sprout hater from way back, I encourage you to give them a try with the sweetness of apple and nuttiness of pistachios and see if it might change your mind…

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples with Caramelized Onions and Pistachios

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples with Caramelized Onions and Pistachios

Serving Size: Serves 2 as a side


  • 1/2 pound Brussels sprouts, sliced in half length-wise with ends removed
  • 1 Red Delicious apple, cored and cut into small to medium sized chunks
  • 3/4 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 medium-sized yellow onion, sliced very thinly into half moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or agave syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons roasted pistachio halves and pieces (I use unsalted. If using salted, adjust other salt in recipe accordingly)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, toss Brussels sprouts and apples with 3/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Layer evenly across baking sheet, being careful not to overcrowd.
  3. Roast Brussels sprouts and apples for 20 minutes, flipping half-way through. (Brussels sprouts can vary in size and cooking time. They are done when they can easily be pierced with a fork. If necessary, roast for 5 to 10 minutes more.)
  4. Put remaining 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick skillet and bring to a medium high heat.
  5. Add onions to the skillet with a pinch of salt and don't move them for a couple of minutes until they start to brown.
  6. Once brown bits have started to appear on the onions, turn the heat to low and continue cooking the onions for 20 minutes, stirring them occasionally with a spatula, and allowing them to caramelize.
  7. In the last minute of cooking time on the onions, add maple syrup or agave syrup to the onions and combine.
  8. Move the onions to one side of the skillet, and add the pistachios. Allow them to brown for 30 seconds to a minute.
  9. Remove Brussels sprouts and apples from the oven and add them to the skillet. Evenly combine them with the caramelized onions and pistachios. Serve immediately.


Inspired by The Vegan Table

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Apples

Disclaimer: Includes an Amazon affiliate link

Curried Ginger Men & Olive Pit Pottery Update

I’m so excited to be posting over at Keepin’ It Kind today for Kristy’s annual cookie swap party. Kristy is such a terrifically warm human being and a person I feel blessed to call my friend. Keepin’ It Kind is always a well of good feelings and mouthwatering food (photographed by her equally fabulous husband, Chris). Also did you hear that Kristy is currently working on a cookbook? I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! (You may remember that I did a video interview with Kristy in September. If you missed it, it’s available for viewing here.)

While you’re over at Keepin’ It Kind, you’ll definitely want to poke around a bit, check out Kristy’s recipes and the insane delights that other bloggers are bringing to this all-vegan cookie swap.

mainimage1What’s my entry? Indian falafel with a peanut curry dipping sauce, of course. They’re also known as Curried Ginger Men. Doesn’t sound like a cookie to you? Well, you’ll have to head over to Keepin’ It Kind, where everything will be explained.

But before you go, I wanted to let you know that my Etsy pottery shop, Olive Pit Pottery, has been updated. The stock is full, and I’d love it if you’d take a peek. I have cute button bowls, sauce dishes, and some Doctor Who ornaments (representing Tom Baker, Peter Davison & Matt Smith) for those Whovians on your list.

In addition to making pottery for the shop, I’ve gotten the chance to do a couple of commissioned pieces lately. One was for someone who wanted a mug that was Sherlock related.  I came up with the idea of making a mug that incorporated Sherlock’s famous address.

sherlockmugAnd one was for someone who wanted owl mugs:

owlmugs(I made a couple of extras, and so I have a similar owl mug available in my shop.)

I’m really delighted with how the commissioned pieces turned out, and I’m planning on making more of those styles in the new year.